Long excluded from decision-making on war and peace, women increasingly are participating in negotiations to resolve violent conflict at the national, international and local level. The U.S. Institute of Peace discussed recent research, practice and policy on gender and mediation on Friday, March 31.

For nearly two decades, the United Nations Security Council and other international and regional organizations have developed standards for greater participation of women in conflict prevention, management and resolution, and for more consideration of the effects of gender in these dynamics. A growing body of research shows that women’s meaningful participation improves peace processes, shortens the time needed for an agreement to be negotiated, increases the legitimacy of the accord, and makes the peace more sustainable.

Panelists discussed gender in conflict analysis, guidance for mediators to transform norms into practice, and the emergence of new networks of women mediators across the globe. Each of the speakers sought to strengthen women’s capacities and opportunities to contribute to peace.

Speakers

Lone Jessen
Senior Gender and Political Advisor for Gender, Peace and Security (GPS) Unit, Policy and Mediation Division, Dept. of Political Affairs, United Nations, "U.N. Guidance on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Strategies"

Camilla Riesenfeld
Conflict Prevention Program, Folke Bernadotte Academy

Sophia Close
Senior Advisor for Gender and Peacebuilding, Conciliation Resources

Irene Limo
Coordinator of Accord’s Peacemaking Unit

Virginia M. Bouvier 
Senior Advisor for Peace Processes, USIP 

Kathleen Kuehnast, Moderator
Director, Gender Policy and Strategy, USIP

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